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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Rolls

The last 24 hours are shaping up to be what one would call a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

A 6:00 am skunk spray to our dog's face kicked off the festivities yesterday morning. I suddenly found myself dressed in a black trash bag (cut holes for my head and arms) so I could touch him without the skunk oils seeping into my skin. The 24 hours ended with Dylan waking up at 4:20 am this morning and deciding he didn't want to go back to sleep no matter what so we finally went downstairs and bare foot in a pile of surprise dog poop. These are the bookends to a full day of lost ATM card, $1 short at the dump, and ripped favorite shirt.

I'm the kind of tired where you feel slightly sick. You know when you wake up for an early flight and are dizzy, grossed out by smells, and not sure what time it is? Yup, me today. And do our clothes, bodies, and cars smell like skunk? Yes they do.

Luckily, I made a batch of sweet potato rolls earlier this week which either spread with butter and honey or dipped in olive oil are a total pick me up. Nick brought home James Beard's book Beard On Bread from a book sale this summer and I'm smitten with it.

These rolls are perfect for tiny hands. Dylan has been eating them with either peanut butter or humus and seems quite happy and of course not over tired at all.

Sweet Potato Rolls
slightly adapted from Beard on Bread
makes about 24

2 packages active dry yeast
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes or yams (if canned, drained of all liquids first)
2 tablespoons cream

1. Combine the yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the warm water in a mixing bowl and let proof for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, the butter, salt, and 2 of the eggs to the yeast mixture, and stir to blend well.

2. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, then stir in the sweet potatoes.

3. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead for 2 or 3 minutes, adding only enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the board. The dough will be soft.

4. When the dough is smooth and springy to the touch, shape it into a ball. Put in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Punch the dough down, then shape it into a ball and let rest for 2 minutes. Pull off equal pieces about the size of golf balls and shape into balls - about 2 dozen of them.

6. Place them on a buttered cookie sheet about 2 pinches apart or, if you want the rolls joined, about 1/4 inch apart. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

7. Beat the remaining egg with the cream and brush this onto the rolls. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are a lovely brown color.


  1. those look absolutely amazing. I am not a baker but makes me want to try my hand at it. Sorry about your awful 24 hours. That is life with kids (and pets). We've had 2 weeks like that which included my "birthday weekend" being spent taking my son to urgent care for an ear infection. boo!

    Not Going Out Like That

  2. These look beautiful! I can't wait to make them. I love your photography and your entire blog it feels so warm and inviting!

  3. Thanks you guys - so sweet!

    J-Oh no, that's no way to spend a birthday weekend! I actually felt like I was in a "parenting sitcom" with some of the situations. Too funny.

    Susie & Marc - I'm so happy you found me! Please let me know what recipes you try out.

  4. What a horrible day! I'm so sorry about the skunk-- what a fiasco!

    But I cannot wait to try this recipe. Those rolls look absolutely amazing!

  5. Thanks Lauren! The skunk stank is still lingering but luckily on the way out!
    I hope you try the rolls out and let me know what you think!

  6. Hey Sarah, These looked so delicious I ventured to make a GF version! I replaced the flour with 2/3 gf regular flour, 1/3 coconut flour - I doubt they were as delicious as yours, but they were still pretty good - sort of scone like. I liked mine with blueberry jam, C tells me that tasted good with bacon. : ) Thanks!

  7. Blueberry jam, bacon, and coconut live in a fun house! Miss you guys!


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